O.k been reading up a ton on the music industry predictions for 2010 and have come up with a few, if I dare take a crack at this and by all means feel free to share your predictions or POV in the comments 🙂 Thanks to the resources that have helped some of my research: Wired.com, Mashable.com, Headliner.fm, Alexa.com, Forrester.com
1. Venture capitalists and big named brands will further finance musicians
Asrecord labelsmerge and swallow up partners, (Warner+EMI? Like when Polygram merged with Universal in the 80`s) marketing budgets will be slashed once again so the once 100k budget which got cut int0 50k last year, will likely be cut again to 25k. This wont be as tragic as it seems because big named brands and the film industry will gladly spot these artists with some nice budgets for appearances and brand vanity and smaller artists will opt for their own investors. This will force bands to be doing a lot of hands on marketing to stand out in what has become a huge sea of new music and very tough competition.
2. Fan clubs and street teams will come together as direct-to-fan platforms evolve
As a music fan, you can sign up to newsletters, fan-clubs, VIP offers, the record label store, Street teams, mobile alerts and the list goes on. Well with more and more artists selling directly to their fans, it is inevitable that a solution emerges that handles everything. Fan logs into the ultimate Direct-to-Fan club and specifies purchasing habits, street team activities, news alert delivery options etc… and everything after than is one cleverly marketed click away where fans interacts with band offerings, demand new versions and get rewarded with prime goodies like shout outs on stage for sharing content. I see the monthly and yearly subscription fee model popularize itself in these clubs as well as in on-line music stores.
3. Artists will make more music on demand
With more and more bonds being built via web 2.0 technologies, the artist and fan relationship will continue to grow and I predict that fans will start to create their own mini EPs by directing the artist to get re-mixed by producers they like, release acoustic and live versions and even integrate raw studio cuts and include tracks from talented fans as well. A sort of Choose-Your-Own-Audio venture with all the emerging remix and interactive technologies at the forefront. I`d like to see these mini EPs come in a digital bundle, return of the 45 vinyl and have basically 3 songs: fan made re-mix, fan demanded acoustic version and raw studio cut.
4. Music will be seen less on a CD rack and more in the clouds…
CD sales will continue their steady decline and the music population will turn into digital and vinyl heads for the most part. Watch as vinyl reach out to the hardcore fans who want the immediacy of digital AND the physical fix. Subscription based streaming music stores like Grooveshark and Spotify will become a serious business model for labels to consider. Grooveshark`s traffic has a really healthy up-and-to-the-right metric line and really if you think about it – it`s the perfect compromise for the majority of the digital music community. Faster than utorrent, cheaper than Itunes and trendier than Twilight, these subscription based stream stores are clearly making their mark in the music market place.
5. An artist`s database will turn into a fairly measurable currency with social metrics
The more time we spend on-line, the more valuable a musician`s database will become (users are expected to be spending EVEN more time in 2010). All artists will experience an increase of virtual fans simply by putting themselves out there but also the clever musician, management and label will be harvesting and analyzing fan data with the new social metrics coming out. The simple: enter email, tweet, share this for a track models will only amplify this virtual currency.
6. Interactive touch screens will start showing up at concerts
I don’t mean the kind you see at music festivals with SMS streams and the next band info with sponsors and ads. I mean a truly interactive experience where one can sign up to fan clubs, shop, join a contest request shout outs (I know I’m obsessed with shout outs and honestly think it’s the best way to reward and keep a fan loyal). In my perfect vision of the future, one that my inner geek truly adores, the interactive touch screens are so paper thin and huge and now after having seen AVATAR they are probably 3D as well!
7. MySpace will offer musicians a lot more options and will not go away
I was honestly laughing when respectable journalists were writing about “The Death of MySpace” “Facebook will take over MySpace”. Look, no matter how much you have a hate on for Tom and no matter how fk* irritating that damn CSS is to code around – MySpace is still the #1 place online that music fans go to check out an artist’s music. If you don’t care about all that and you are just looking at the numbers, well their actual traffic has been pretty stable for the past 3 months (Oct-o9 to Dec-09). So although things look promising, we`ll have to check the numbers again in the next 3 months…
“Indie musicians now have a new way to make money online by adding their songs directly to MySpace Music in exchange for sharing in the ad revenue with the service.” Original post by Elliot Van Buskirk @ Wired.com click MORE for further information.
8. Facebook will release a highly customizable new version
I have to say that I am not impressed with the rate in which Face book releases new versions or fixes bugs… the only reason why I use Facebook (and I likely speak for most) is that everyone is on it and I really have little choice. At least MySpace has an excuse for it’s bugginess – it was built in the dinosaur era with some lame programming language. I am hoping that with a huge fan page community, Facebook steps up to the plate and actually pimps up the code a bit so that one can customize way more and turn their fan page into highly interactive music fan playgrounds of stuff to do, purchase and without error messages with apps not working. Recently, either the ilike app had a bug in it or the steps to add it to your fan page were totally convoluted cause almost every music client of mine was calling me about it! So Crackbook, I’m unliking you a bit until you impress me with a new version…
9. More street stars like G-Funk RED will be discovered
I think after over a decade of really wimpy commercial rap, hip hop and urban beats it’s time to get back to the simple stories and sounds of the untrained street songs BEFORE the musician has someone else writing their rhymes and picking their outfits. Who says teenagers need cheesy synthesized effects and big studio sound to make them happy? O.K well they sort of do BUT unlike our grandparents, kids are growing up on decades of classical, blues, rock, electronic and are totally into experiencing new stuff – although there will always be at the perfect age for pop. I was lucky, I had an older brother making sure between Madonna and Wham I had Led Belly, Chet Baker, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bob Marley, Iggy Pop… well tell u what, these kids have a realllly big brother called the internet allowing them to discover more music than ever before subjecting people like G-funk RED and others to get international exposure from sites like YouTube.
10. America will have a full year of discovering more oddities like Susan Boyle
It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that after Susan Boyle, America’s Got Talent is going to experience both an increase in unusual auditions from older and oddball performers but will also be prioritizing them especially after seeing Susan`s popularity skyrocket and set new standards for discovery.